“Don’t Trust Americans With Mangoes!”

This was declared at dinner last night. Needless to say, as the only American in the room, I gave my countrymen a bad name by cutting the two mangoes offered as dessert incorrectly. Sheesh!

Mangoes are a beloved fruit in Nepal. I have yet to meet a Nepali who does not like mangoes (if one is out there, please let me know!) There is even a “mango season,” where there seem to be so many mangoes they are practically falling from the trees like rain (okay hyperbole, but you get the point).

In the US, particularly as a native of the Northeast, it is quite possible for someone to grow up and never eat a mango. Apples– definitely, we have our own “apple season,” oranges, bananas and grapes are pretty ubiquitous also, but sometimes beyond that the average person might be getting into unchartered fruit territory (at least when I was growing up. Now exotic fruits are more accessible, particularly in juice form).

I remember reading about mangoes in a cookbook in middle school, and seeing a recipe for a mango smoothie. Never having tried one before, I tracked down a mango at the local store, and copied the cutting technique from the book. This is still the cutting technique that I use today– I mean, I don’t cut mangoes on a daily basis, mangoes are usually someone else’s territory, but I thought I had a handle on it.

So last night, after I got in from a long day at work, I was delegated to cut the mangoes for dessert. I took the mango and sliced around the pit, and then I scored the slices so the mango flesh would be easier to bite off the skin in square pieces.

I scored the flesh in a similar way...

P and D started eating and asked, “Where’s the rest?”

“There is no more,” I said “All that was left was the pit, so I threw it out…”

“You threw it out??” They pretty much yelled in unison, “Why would you throw it out?? There is so much more mango pulp we could get off of it!” P even melodramatically declared, “My dinner is ruined!”

Not only did they not like the way I cut it, but I didn’t get all the edible flesh sliced off, a cardinal sin of mango eating.

Last year D’s German girlfriend tried to slice a mango through the middle, not knowing there was a pit in the center. “How could you not know there was a pit?? Have you never eaten mango before??” he teased her (although I think he was serious about the question. It’s hard for P and D, mango lovers since childhood, to believe there are people out there who don’t know how to cut or eat one).

Thus, “Don’t trust Americans with mangoes!” If you are in the company of mango maniacs its best to let them have their way with the fruit.

I guess thats the last time I’m delegated to slice dessert.

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10 responses to ““Don’t Trust Americans With Mangoes!”

  1. I often am taken off prep duty because I cut vegetables the proper way or at least the way chefs do on cooking shows. Apparently using a chef’s knife and cutting with the lower end of the knife is not a good method. The preferred method, for my boyfriend, is to use the dullest steak knife in his drawer and slice it in his hand, just letting the onion drop in the pan. Eh potato, po-tot-oh.

  2. interesting :)

  3. Maybe you could post a video of someone cutting a mango correctly? When I cut mango I end up with mango all over my hands and the juice everywhere.

    P’s comment of his dinner being ruined reminds me of one occasion when I accused M of poisoning me (and I burst into tears!).

  4. Mmmm, Mangoes!!

    I cut mine in the same way but in India (as opposed to Australia) I was far more inclined to suck on the seed and make as much mess as a like.

    My darling mother in law scores my mangoes with so much love, it is beyond me.

  5. My mom and my sister dislike mangoes – very uncommon for nepali. the rest of the family love mangoes! When I first had mangoes in the US ( from Stop & Shop) I was disappointed … they were not sweet at all. I finally found that the ones that they sell in Indian stores are pretty good. But nothing like the ones that you get back home…

    The easiest way for me to eat a mango is to cut the two sides of the mango, and scoop them out with a spoon. and suck on the seed :)

    • Where I really made the mistake was throwing away the seed/pit instead of letting people suck on it and get the extra pulp off. My bad.

      P wants me to take a video of him cutting a mango and post it on the blog, so stay tuned for that.

  6. I am excited to see this video of him cutting the mango…I would have cut it the way you did too…..and usually over a sink and I usually get covered in sticky mango mess!

  7. That is too funny…. question, do P and D find the mangos available in your area to be tasty? My husband can’t stand mangos that we get here in the Northwest US… most of them come from Mexico, but by the time we get them they are horrible! One exception, we were in Canada recently and someone served mangos – and they were to die for! He ate so many I couldn’t believe it – actually he couldn’t believe it either! They totally reminded him of his days in India – when you could just pluck a mango directly from the tree and enjoy!

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